Posted: 16 December 2008 at 12:17am | IP Logged
Originally posted by return_to_hades
Being a history nerd, I probably could go to lengthy discussions and debates on kingdoms, independence, colonization and such....but I will focus on names.
I do not think by leaving the Anglicized names gives any undue credit to colonial rulers, at the same time nor does renaming them to Indianized versions take anything away from the history of a place.
Except for a few, most Indian names are Anglicized dimunitives.
Actually disagree with that , most Indian cities are named after some ancient god or famous person or some event. First the Mughal rulers "Arabified" the names and then the Brits/French/Portugese couldnt pronounce any of that, they screwed them up further
For example Bombay was Bombay to English, Bumbai in Hindi and Mumbai in Marathi. Forcing everyone to refer to it as Mumbai is like Spain demanding that we stop calling their country Spain and use Espana instead. The name change is nothing cultural but grounded in an absurd sense of ego. It is not that Europeans are not proud of their culture and history, there is a difference between that pride and misplaced ego.
The natives called it as Mumbai that is basically named after Mumbadevi, and most Indians like to think of their river/ocean/native place/goddesses as their mother(marathi it is "Aai")
so Mumba(devi) + Aai = Mumba - aai when spoken becomes Mumbai.
So the choice was to carry forward a screwed up portuguese name or go back to your roots. So with the inconvience to some nostaligic people, if you can fix it, why not correct a mistake?
I know the habit thing and the nostalgia, my city was named one thing and they changed a letter in it. So even today I pay the price for it, every financial institute has a secret question, what is the name of your birthplace and I lock my account out by giving a wrong answer. Everytime I make a mistake in writing the name of my birthplace, since the name change occured After my education, so I had no opportunity of getting myself used to it.
My Nephew who was born After the name change has absolutely no problem with the name, he NEVER makes a mistake
The inconvenience is only for the generation that is used to the name. We as a nation are only 3 generations old. The new generation that comes up, gets the right name, the right history behind it. That is the job of the govt, to provide the right information.
Couple years ago, when I was in Mumbai, got into a cab and asked the Cabbie to take me to VT, The Sadarji made a point in correcting me with the right name is CST.
This is a national thing, not only a Mumbai/Maharashtra thing. There is a section in India, and a sizeable portion of the country, that thinks we as a nation are at a point where we need to start to beleiving in ourselves, have started to drop the meekness that people extrapolated from our Gandhian days. This name change is just one of the many things that they are doing, Yes it also inculcates a sense of self pride, a sense of "your own" ancesteral connection. This sense of pride(when seen in others is called "Ego) in who you are, where you come from, is seen in a lot of places around the world, so I wont fault Indians for doing the same. For some it is a meaningless exercise, for some it is a building block